Friday, 5 November 2010

Retro Gaming Consoles

Time for something a little light-hearted I think. I love video games consoles, have done since I first saw a SNES in Currys when I was about 13 years old. At the time, my parents were a little hard up so I wasn't able to get something as swanky as the SNES or the MegaDrive at the time. Instead I got given a Master System - this was my first introduction to console gaming.

I loved my MasterSytem, it was the original model with both cartridge and card slot for games. The built in game was Maze, which I actually played with regular frequency. After a few years I was able to get my hands on a MegaDrive, to me at the time this represented the pinnacle of modern video gaming. I was so pleased that my parents decided to get me these consoles, it was a rare treat for me when growing up to have something this fun to play with.

As time went by, I became a steady Sega fanboy, I was given a Mega-CD as a Christmas present once and not long after that, after working for it relentlessly all summer as a Barrow boy on the local Butlins, I was able to get the 32X. Now of course, this was also the time where things like the Playstation and Sega Saturn were being touted for release. This didn't phase me one bit, I could proudly say to my peers at school that I already had a next-gen, 32bit games console in my house right now. Of course, as the 32X bombed out fairly quickly a lot of my compatriots heaped scorn on me. This didn't really upset me that much, there was no way I could get a Playstation or a Saturn, they were way to expensive for me. But this didn't stop me from reading all about the new machines that were on the way. Of course, after a while, my brother was given a Playstation for a birthday present I think, along with a copy of Metal Gear Solid (the limited edition one with the dog tags etc). I think I had started to go to college my this time, so on one of my off days I picked it up and gave it a play. This was the moment I fell in love with Metal Gear Solid as well as the Playstation.

As the years went by, and I started to earn more money as a post-graduate, I was able to settle my schoolboy attraction to consoles I read about in my early teens. Even thought I have a strong home computer background, I have always had, and always will have a love for gaming consoles. Right now I have a fairly good collection going, starting with the Sega MasterSystem (the same one I was given - it still works today) and going up to the Playstation 3 (the one that can play PS2 games). Recently, I picked up a Goldstar 3DO, this is a magnificent console, I recall reading about it being launched when I was you, but then for some reason people stopped writing about it. There was, for a brief time, a number of articles about the 3DO M2, but this never seamed to get released at all.

The console itself is pretty amazing if you take into account that it was released in 1993. Mine came packaged with Starfighter, which is a truly wonderful game to play. I was attracted to this game based on the fact that it had started off its development as a game for the Acorn Archimedes (and we know just how much I love Acorn Kit). Strangely, the console only has one controller port on the box, additional controllers are plugged into each other, daisychaning them. I am not sure as to just how many can be connected. Another design feature of the controllers was that you could plug 3.5mm headphones into them. The controller also has its own volume control. Now, I don't think that is something that has been seen on a console until the Xbox 360? I may be wrong.

As it stands just now, I have games consoles in pretty much all the rooms in my house apart from my bedroom and bathroom. I will also continue to pick up nice examples of gaming consoles, I would like to get my hands on a NeoGeo and a WonderMega, but these ones a pretty pricey. Which is odd as you can pick up a Hyper NeoGeo arcade motherboard quite cheaply.

Right now though, I am reliving part of my youth by playing Ravenskull on my Acorn Electron which is hooked up to my LCD TV :)